Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed.
Keller Williams Realty Boston Northwest | 978-580-9140 | team@stevezippin.com


Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 3/4/2016

  



Who doesn't love a bargain? Some of the best shopping deals these days can be found online. Savvy shoppers even know that some days are even better than others to find the biggest savings. ShopItToMe.com, a website that looks at online retailers, ran a survey to see what days of the week online websites offer the biggest discounts. 

Here is what they found:


  • Mondays: If you are looking for men's and women's dress pants try Mondays. ShopItToMe found the average sale price is about 48 percent off. The site also found Mondays are great for purchasing sunglasses with an average discount of around 55 percent.
  • Tuesdays: If you are shopping for men's clothes, it may be pants on Mondays but all other men's apparel is typically on sale on Tuesday with a discount around 42 percent.
  • Wednesdays: You can save an average of 38 percent on shoes. Also look for great deals on kids' clothing with an average discount around 40 percent.
  • Thursdays: Handbags lover's Thursdays typically offer a 36 percent savings.
  • Fridays: Once you have purchased a new handbag you will need accessories to match. Look for an average of 42 percent off jewelry, belts and scarves.
  • Saturdays: Underwear and outwear are on deep discount on Saturdays. Shoppers can save an average of 37 percent on intimates and a whopping 51 percent on jackets and outerwear.
  • Sundays: Swimsuit prices are reduced approximately 52 percent on Sundays.

Do you have a strategy when buying online? What are your best online shopping tips? Please, share your best online shopping tips in the comment section of our post. We would love to hear your clever tricks! :)




Sign up for our NEWSLETTER today! You will get an email every two weeks with great information about the real estate market, how to improve the value of your home, DIY projects, your town activities... and much more! 






Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 12/4/2015

Holiday spending can get out of hand if not kept in check. If you don't want to suffer from shopper's remorse when the holiday spending bills come rolling in next year planning your shopping budget is key. You can prevent a spending hangover by implementing these easy tips to help you save and still get into the spirit. Make a list Make a master gift giving list and go over it each year. Chances are there will be little changes to your master list. Go over and revise the list each Labor Day to plan your gift giving for the holiday season that year. Check it Twice Keep your list handy by slipping it in your purse or wallet or even put it on your phone. Don't forget to refer to your list before buying and you will be ready to shop at a moment's notice. Comparison Shop Make sure to comparison shop this is easy on the internet, You can use a "shopping bot" which is an online search engine that checks web sites, digging up the best prices. You can also save on gas and time by looking for sites that offer free shipping. Stick to Your Budget Keep your budget in mind when you shop. Buy your most important presents first?children, partner and parents. You may also want to assign a monetary amount to each person on your gift list. Pay Cash Leave the credit cards at home. Only pay cash for your holiday gifts. You can't spend what you don't have. If you don't like carrying around a lot of cash use a prepaid debit card.  




Categories: Money Saving Tips   Holidays  


Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 8/14/2015

Are you considering a large-scale home remodel?  Whether you are looking for a project intended to increase your home's value, or you're splurging on a pleasure project for your family, many of you will be turning to contractors to carry out the work that needs to be done.  However, not all contractors are equal.  It is important for you to outline your priorities for the project.  You'll want a reliable contractor that can perform satisfactory work for a reasonable price.  Here's a few tips to help get you started. 1. - Find yourself an insured and licensed contractor.  Don't just pull a number from the classifieds and run with it without doing some proper homework.  Licensing ensures that the contractor in question is qualified to do the work being discussed.  To find out if your prospective contractor is licensed, contact your state license board and check up on them. Insurance is another matter.  Insurance protects the workers the contractor will be employing, and your home from accidents resulting in damages.  Ask your contractor to provide you with proof of insurance.  If they can't provide this, then move on to a new contractor. 2. - Referrals and reviews - Before you strike out on your own, ask your friends and family if they have anyone that they'd recommend.  Many times, the best contractors are found word-of-mouth.  Every contractor on the planet wants his clients to think that he's the best for the job, but results speak for themselves.  Again, make sure any referrals are licensed and insured.  You don't want to take the chance of incurring additional damages to your property due to negligence and accidents.  If no referrals can be found, then check online for reviews of local contractors.  Most reputable contractors will have solid online reviews that are easily accessible.  Contractors that operate their own websites are a plus. 3. - There's no such thing as a stupid question.  If your contractor acts annoyed with you for asking too many questions, then you should probably consider someone else for the job.  Questions to consider asking are - How long have you been in business? - How much will this project cost in total? - Have you performed this type of work before? - What is the protocol if the project goes over-budget? If you don't like the answers given, then continue looking for a contractor you feel comfortable with. 4. - Don't pay too much up front.  Paying up to a third of the total estimate up front isn't unheard of.  This initial payment will more than likely be used to hire employees and buy supplies.  However, be wary of giving the contractor any more money until after your project is finished.  Also, don't be afraid to get a rundown of how that initial payment will be spent.  Be thorough if you want to be.  The contractor should be able to give you a pretty good picture of the project in terms of cost and time. 5. - Get a contract - No matter the size of the project being undertaken, a contract should always be written up.  This will ensure a legally-binding agreement between you and the contractor exists in the event of the unforeseen.  Without a contract, there is no way to hold the contractor accountable in the event he performs an unsatisfactory job.  And trust me...Any hassles you may incur in securing a contract is nothing compared to going to court without one in the event something goes awry.  A proper contract should include the following information.

  • When the project will start and end
  • How and when you or the contractor is in default of the contract
  • How any disputes will be rectified
  • What happens if there is a delay due to weather, available materials, and so on.




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 1/23/2015

Who wouldn't like to pay off the mortgage early? Getting rid of mortgage debt will allow you the security and the psychological benefit of owning your home free and clear. There are lots of ways to accomplish these goals. Here are some suggestions on ways to get rid of your mortgage debt. Compare the options and do what works best for you. 1. Add more money to your monthly payment. This will help pay down the principal balance shortening the length of your loan. When you pay more on your principal is gets lower, and the lower your principal gets, the more every payment from then on is applied to principal, as less goes to cover interest expense. 2. Refinance. Refinance your mortgage to 10, 15 or 20 years. Your payments will be higher on a 15-year loan, but often the rate is lower and the loan is paid off much quicker. If you are afraid to take out a 15- year loan take out a 30-year loan, but make payments as if you had a 15-year loan. 3. Make biweekly payments. Most banks have a biweekly payment plan. Since there are 52 weeks in the year if you pay half your regular mortgage payment every other week, you'll have made 26 half-payments, or 13 payments. There are options when it comes to owning your home free and clear. Just decide which one works for you and be on your way to being mortgage free.





Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 8/29/2014

Groceries can be one of the biggest monthly expenses in a family's budget. It seems the prices just keep going up and up but there are ways to slim down your weekly grocery bill. Here are some strategies to help you save at the grocery store. Make a list: If you want to avoid impulse make a list and stick to it. If you don't have a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. You may also forget to purchase the items you need causing unnecessary trips back to the store. Look for expiration dates:  Avoid buying items that will go bad quickly. Pay attention to expiration dates especially on things like milk, meat, eggs, and yogurt. Look for meat markdowns: Butchers mark down their meat either early in the morning or in the evening saving you 30 to 60 percent. If you ask most butchers will tell you when they mark down their meat. Buy in bulk: When you find things like cereals, tinned goods, rice, beans, pasta, coke, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, toilet paper etc. on sale buy in bulk. You might also want to shop at warehouse stores for these items. Buy generic: Generic store brands can save you money. Most generics are just like or very close to the name brand product without the hefty price tag.




Categories: Money Saving Tips  




Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed.